Call Now! 250.748.7000

Executive Director - Debbie Berg

Debbie Berg became Executive Director of Cowichan Women Against Violence Society on October 29, 2018.

Berg has a Master's degree in counselling and is registered as a Master Practitioner of Clinical Counselling. She has extensive experience in management and director roles with non-profits beginning in 1998.  Her background includes counselling, housing management, quality improvement, addictions services, program development, human resources, education/training and business owner. 

During her children’s school years, Debbie became a private educator, homeschooling her children along with other students who had learning differences.  Her success with children led to working with the school district in developing and serving as chairperson of an alternate school where homeschool parents could have their children taught Math and English in a classroom setting. She also became mentor to parents with children struggling in the traditional school setting, helping them with their children’s learning differences. 

Along with her husband, Stephen, Debbie championed the development of a residential single mother’s project known as AARMAC (Assisting At Risk Mothers and Children) which assisted young single mom’s in completing high school, a post secondary course and acquiring employment.

After completing her Master's, Berg became employed as HR Manager for Hope Mission, an Edmonton inner-city agency that served all ages with shelters, programs, food and advocacy. This position included supporting and mentoring managers along with the staff of children’s camps, a skate park, food programs in schools, youth, women’s and men’s shelters, a one-year addictions program for men and another for women, and second stage housing for both men and women. 

The next step in her career led to becoming manager and then director of the George Spady Society funded through Alberta Health Services which provided low-barrier shelter to men and women along with a non-medical detox center. Berg championed an innovative project known as SpadyPOD (Place of Dignity) that was the first of its kind in Western Canada.  This project served street entrenched individuals with substance abuse and medical challenges by giving them long-term to end of life supportive housing in a harm reduction model. Strong connections to the Royal Alexander Hospital were developed with Berg serving on a committee that developed a Managed Alcohol Program for the RAH.  Berg also served on the HUOS (Heavy Users of Systems) committee alongside Edmonton Police and Emergency Services, the City of Edmonton, various agencies, Alberta Health Services, Human Services, and REACH. This included being invited to join two fact finding trips to Vancouver and Toronto to learn from their police services about inner city challenges and solutions.

With a desire to move to Victoria, the roots of her husband’s youth, Berg accepted a position with Our Place Society working as their Director of Housing.  Her projects were heavily focused on working with the tent city residents and BC Housing.  Along with 2 transitional shelters and a night shelter, Berg also oversaw a Transitional Residential Program and a Pre-employment program.

Nature has a strong influence in Berg’s life beginning with being raised on an Alberta farm.  She loves hiking and biking with her husband and family, as well as attempting a permaculture lifestyle along with gardening.  Creative renovation and building projects have been one of her go-to therapies.

Debbie has been married to her husband Stephen since 1986.  She is the mother of 3 grown children, Justin (Michelle), Teryl (Mateo) and Mark, as well as proud stepmom to Michael and Lucas (Jamie) along with step-granddaughter Madison (Carter).

 

Join Us Today!